I wonder if I missed it – the story by ABC News wondering how or if Angelina Jolie’s black kids would do all right with a white family?
I only ask because I exhaled a sigh of disgust when I saw posted on my Facebook page a link from ABC News. It was entitled, “Will Michael Jackson’s White Kids Get Along With Black Family?”
How amazingly ignorant and telling of where the heads are of the producers of ABC News. Not only was it ignorant but ridiculous. Haven’t these kids BEEN getting along with their black family?
I reacted because, still, the illness called racism stings in ways and places we, or at least I, wish it would not. When Angelina Jolie adopted her black kids from Africa, I do not recall any big news story asking if her black kids would get along with their white family.
In that case, it might have been a more justified question, because those kids, Angelina’s,I mean, came from a nearly all-black environment to a white home. Quite the shock, I’d say.
But Michael Jackson’s kids have been close to their black family from the beginning. I would assume they have had plenty of contact with black kids, black culture, black food. So, what’s up with ABC News?
I have tried to watch quietly as stories touching on race have come up since Michael Jackson died. Before this ABC News piece, I gnawed at my fingernails as I watched Marcus Allen, the little African American boy whose summer camp class was told it was not welcome at a private white swim club, fight back tears as he voiced pain about being talked about so poorly by white families apparently concerned that association with black kids would be bad for their children.
I winced and bit my lip as I read what the president of the club said in his club’s defense, saying the problem was not racism but an issue of overcrowding.
OK, I thought. I’ll be stupid today.
The issue for that president is that his members, his paying members, probably threatened him his job if he didn’t do something about getting the undesireables out of their pool.
Little Marcus Allen thought that people “didn’t think like that anymore,” and his mother, the director of the day camp, said that it was ridiculous that in 2009, we were and are still dealing with this type of thing.
Sad as it is, though, we are. We are still dealing with racism because we have never dealt with racism. Everybody has wanted to believe that just because Barack Obama was elected president that the sticky fingers of racism, a tumor in our society, suddenly dissolved and went away.
How about not?
America is like a patient that knows something is wrong but is afraid to go to the doctor. Our racism is not getting better. It is at best the same, though some explicit, noticeable things have changed. That is progress for sure.
But what needs to change are the feelings individuals carry inside, feelings of superiority or inferiority, depending on one’s race, that have been incubated and nurtured since slavery. Those feelings are deeply rooted in the psyches of Americans, whether we like it or not. We do not want to admit to the illness. That’s why there’s such a rush to claim “post racial” America. But no such animal exists.
If Angelina Jolie’s black kids will presumably be all right in a white world, not just with a white family, then why would not Michael Jackson’s kids do all right with a black family? Jackson’s kids are in an environment with a grandmother, aunts, uncles and cousins whom they love and who love them. They have been in each others’ company since birth. Why would they NOT be all right?
America, America, stop denying this peculiarly “American” disease and let’s deal with it, once and for all. Jackson, ironically sang, “It doesn’t matter if I’m black or white.”
How about that’s an ideal that has not yet taken?
That’s a candid observation.